Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Drugs
Betaseron ® (interferon beta-1b)
What is Betaseron ®?
Betaseron ® is a drug used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is from a class of drugs known as interferons. In Europe, Betaseron ® is called Betaferon ®.
Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) is a recombinant DNA produced synthetic of naturally occurring proteins. It is manufactured by bacterial fermentation of a strain of Escherichia coli that bears a genetically engineered plasmid containing the gene for human interferon.
Interferons are cytokines. Three major classes of interferon have been identified - interferon alpha, interferon beta and interferon gamma.
Interferon alpha and beta form the Type I class of interferons and Interferon gamma is a Type II interferon.
Indicated and approved for use in multiple sclerosis are interferon types, Interferon beta-1a and Interferon beta-1b.
Interferons are species specific. In other words, the effects and results of interferon therapy and animal experimentation is difficult to apply across the human-animal species barriers since the effects they have within any given species are different.
The mechanisms by which Betaseron ® exerts its actions in multiple sclerosis (MS) are not clearly understood.
Betaseron ® is administered by subcutaneous injection (injection under the skin) every other day.